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Nine-year-old girl dies in fire

ALEXANDRA - An electrical fire suspected to have been caused by a faulty meter box kills a nine-year-old girl.

A nine-year-old girl died in a fire in 19th Avenue on 12 August suspected to have been caused by a faulty electrical meter box.

The fire started at about 9.30pm when Caroline Bontle Mothiba was asleep. It has not been ascertained whether the girl was burnt to death or succumbed to the smoke. Her uncle Jackie Mothiba was able to rescue her three-year-old sister and 15-year-old brother.

She (Caroline) must have been scared by the fire and hid in the house because we couldn’t find her,” said the deceased girl’s aunt Ettie Mothiba.

Ettie blamed City Power for the death of her niece. “We have been complaining about the meter box. Every time we call, we get a reference number and nothing gets done,” said the emotional aunt.

Ettie said the last time City Power sent workers to look at the meter, the family was assured that all was in order and they would not be in danger. Ettie also said there were many complaints from residents about the way the meter boxes were installed.

Emergency services were on the scene at about 10pm. They tried to revive the girl but she did not respond. The family is receiving help from neighbours who are giving them food and blankets as the fire destroyed all their belongings.

A glass cut through Jackie’s vein while trying to break a window. A day after the incident he was still waiting to be operated on as the hospital was full. The deceased’s mother was so traumatised she was unable to speak.

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